Exploring Legal Accountability; Improving The Courts, One Clerkship At A Time – Ep.056 – Aliza Shatzman

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Episode summary: Aliza Shatzman went to school for law and became a clerkship so she could get a government job. She needed to clerk under a judge for 1 year, that was the last of her requirements. 

Unfortunately, she was unknowingly assigned to a judge who had a history of mistreatment of clerks. He discriminated against women and Aliza was no exception. He mistreated her as well and ended the clerkship early.

Aliza tried everything in her power to get a job, but with the clerkship ending early, it made it almost impossible. 

After a year, she finally landed her dream job only for it to be revoked because the judge made a bad statement about her. Not only did this revoke her job offer, but it revoked all the job interviews she had. Not only had this judge harassed her then, but he continues to do damage. So what is Aliza to do? 

She created a non-profit organization aimed at ensuring that law clerks have positive clerkship experiences while extending support and resources to those who do not. 

Guest Name & Bio: Aliza Shatzman is the President and Co-Founder of The Legal Accountability Project, a nonprofit aimed at ensuring that law clerks have positive clerkship experiences while extending support and resources to those who do not. 

Aliza earned her BA from Williams College and her JD from Washington University School of Law, where she served as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Law & Policy. After law school, Aliza clerked in D.C. Superior Court during the 2019-2020 term.

In March 2022, Aliza submitted written testimony for a House Judiciary Subcommittee hearing about the lack of workplace protections in the federal judiciary, detailing her personal experience with gender discrimination, harassment, and retaliation by a former D.C. judge. 

Aliza now regularly writes and speaks about judicial accountability. She has been published in numerous forums, including the UCLA Journal of Gender & Law, Yale Law & Policy Review, NYU Journal of Legislation & Public Policy, Above the Law, Law360, Slate, Ms. Magazine, and Balls & Strikes.

Aliza Shatzman

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[Nick McGowan]: Hey Aliza welcome to the show. How are you doing today?

[Aliza Shatzman]: i’m good thanks for having me on the show

[Nick McGowan]: yeah absolutely i’m glad that you’re here i’m excited to get into the conversation with

[Nick McGowan]: you i got to be honest with you i don’t have too too much to

[Nick McGowan]: say specifically in what you’re doing but i know this is big thing especially after

[Nick McGowan]: we’ve done a recent episode with somebody you’re connected with as well mike bassett and

[Nick McGowan]: that kind of opened up doors to other people that that want to be able

[Nick McGowan]: to hop on the show and as we were talking before this really about the

[Nick McGowan]: person but i know you’re deeply passionate about what you do so i’m excited to

[Nick McGowan]: get in all of this i don’t want to take your thunder anything but why

[Nick McGowan]: don’t you kick us off and tell

us what you do for a living and

[Nick McGowan]: one thing that most people don’t know

about you it’s maybe a little odd or

[Nick McGowan]: bizarre

[Aliza Shatzman]: so i am the president and co

founder of the legal accountability project

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: we are a non profit

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: aimed at insuring that law clerks have

a positive clerkship

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: experience and then extending support and resources

to the ones who don’t um and then

[Aliza Shatzman]: interesting thing about me i’m a tattoo

enthusiast i have four tattoos i’m planning my

[Aliza Shatzman]: fifth for when we announce our first

school partner for the

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: legal accountability project

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: which should be soon so yeah

[Nick McGowan]: nice all face tattoos is that’s what

comes next

[Aliza Shatzman]: hum i have one on each rib

one of

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: my lower back and then persist on

my left wrist

[Nick McGowan]: that’s

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: awesome

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: isn’t it addictive like you’re sitting in

the chair

[Aliza Shatzman]: so

[Nick McGowan]: and you’re

[Aliza Shatzman]: addictive

[Nick McGowan]: like oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: yes

[Nick McGowan]: what else like what’s happening next and

you’re like calm down you still got another

[Nick McGowan]: couple of hours oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah yeah i mean most of mine

only took like an hour an hour and

[Aliza Shatzman]: a half so

[Nick McGowan]: okay

[Aliza Shatzman]: i thought about like a sleeve that

might be my next one will say

[Nick McGowan]: i’d suggest that i’d suggest that

[Aliza Shatzman]: fancy

[Nick McGowan]: especially when you’re sitting there and you’re

like oh man what else could we do

[Nick McGowan]: especially you get an artist that’s like

maybe we can do this we can do

[Nick McGowan]: that next thing you know he’s got

your entire body just covered tattoos

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: and you look like one of those

reptilian people

[Aliza Shatzman]: i don’t think i want one that


[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: multiple sittings like i’ve seen people go

[Nick McGowan]: no

[Aliza Shatzman]: in when i’m getting a tattoo and

they’ll be like just draw on me for

[Aliza Shatzman]: a couple of hours so i don’t

know if i’m there yet

[Nick McGowan]: no that’s a little much yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: there are people that they basically use

their body as like a sticker board they’re

[Nick McGowan]: like

[Aliza Shatzman]: yep

[Nick McGowan]: this is a cool stick or just

put it here and i’ve

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: seen different people in like why do

you have is that

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: the ham burglar why

[Aliza Shatzman]: oh

[Nick McGowan]: is

[Aliza Shatzman]: my

[Nick McGowan]: the

[Aliza Shatzman]: gosh

[Nick McGowan]: ham burglar on you all

[Aliza Shatzman]: oh

[Nick McGowan]: though kind of drunk one night here

we go

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: so i guess most people wouldn’t know

about your tattoo because it probably doesn’t come

[Nick McGowan]: up in like normal conversation

[Aliza Shatzman]: yuh

[Nick McGowan]: with your profit right

[Aliza Shatzman]: not normal conversation

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: but i work out and just

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: a sports brown running short so everybody

at the gym sees

[Nick McGowan]: they

[Aliza Shatzman]: me

[Nick McGowan]: see

[Aliza Shatzman]: as

[Nick McGowan]: it

[Aliza Shatzman]: this like person with a lot random

tattoos i mean they’re not random

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: they all have yeah

[Nick McGowan]: yeah you don’t have the ham burglar

on you somewhere what

[Aliza Shatzman]: no

[Nick McGowan]: so

[Aliza Shatzman]: i’m not planning to

[Nick McGowan]: you never know you might make friends

with the artist just sit down just go

[Nick McGowan]: for it so if

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: the hamburger ends up on your body

you let me know

[Aliza Shatzman]: all right

[Nick McGowan]: so tell us a bit about how

you got into what you’re doing and break

[Nick McGowan]: that down a bit because not everybody

listens to the show is in the same

[Nick McGowan]: path of life as you are so

as you got into what you’re doing

[Aliza Shatzman]: m

[Nick McGowan]: and really the purpose behind it all

[Aliza Shatzman]: sure so i got into this advocacy

work based on my personal experience with gender

[Aliza Shatzman]: discrimination harassment and retaliation during and after

my clerkship so after i graduated

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: from washington university school of law in

saint louis in twenty nineteen i aspired to

[Aliza Shatzman]: be a homicide prosecutor in the d

c s attorney’s office

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: so i decided to clerk in d

c superior court during the twenty nineteen any

[Aliza Shatzman]: twenty term because i knew that d

prosecutors appeared before dcspircort judges and for folks

[Aliza Shatzman]: who are not attorneys the messaging around

clerkships in the legal community and in law

[Aliza Shatzman]: schools is just uniformly positive it’s this

profession confers this position confers only professional benefits

[Aliza Shatzman]: you will develop a lifelong mentor menti

relationship this judge and judges deserve just absolute

[Aliza Shatzman]: respect and total deference so i started

this clerkship in august twenty nineteen and beginning

[Aliza Shatzman]: just weeks into it the judge for

whom i clerked began to harass me and

[Aliza Shatzman]: discriminate against me because of my gender

he kick me

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: out of the court room and

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: tell me that i made him uncomfortable

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: and then he just felt more comfortable

with my mail co clerk he told me

[Aliza Shatzman]: i was bossy and aggressive and nasty

things it would never be said to a

[Aliza Shatzman]: man be said they were you know

assertive or confident

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: the day i found

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: out that i passed the d c

bar exam so that’s a big day for

[Aliza Shatzman]: any young attorney to e called me

into his chambers got in my face

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: and said you’re bossy and i know

boss because my

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: wife is boss

[Nick McGowan]: two

[Aliza Shatzman]: i was devastated

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: i remember crying in the courthouse bathroom

crying myself to sleep at night i wished

[Aliza Shatzman]: i could be reassigned to another judge

for the rest of the clerkship which was

[Aliza Shatzman]: supposed to last a year m my

workplace didn’t have any sort of employee dispute

[Aliza Shatzman]: resolution or dr plan that might have

enabled that to happen i confided in some

[Aliza Shatzman]: mentors and they advised me to stick

it out and i knew that i needed

[Aliza Shatzman]: a year of work experience to be

eligible for a government

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: job i tried to stick it out

and we transition to remote work during the

[Aliza Shatzman]: pandemic

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Aliza Shatzman]: moved back to philly in march of

twenty twenty to stay with my parents and

[Aliza Shatzman]: worked remotely and the judge basically ignored

me for six weeks before he called me

[Aliza Shatzman]: up in late april and told me

he was ending my clerkship

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: early because i made him uncomfortable and

lacked respect for him but he didn’t want

[Aliza Shatzman]: to get into it then he hung


[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: on me so i called d c

courts h r and they said there’s nothing

[Aliza Shatzman]: they could do h r doesn’t regulate

judges judges and lock clerks have a unique

[Aliza Shatzman]: relationship then they asked me whether i

knew that i was at will employee i

[Aliza Shatzman]: reached out to my law school to

wash you seeking i don’t know support assistance

[Nick McGowan]: sure

[Aliza Shatzman]: advice

[Nick McGowan]: anything

[Aliza Shatzman]: found

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: out this judge had a history of

misconduct that law school officials and professors knew

[Aliza Shatzman]: about at the time i accepted the

clerkship decided not to share with me presumably

[Aliza Shatzman]: because they wanted another student to clerk

so it took me about a year after

[Aliza Shatzman]: that to get back on my feet

this was all pretty devastating and as i

[Aliza Shatzman]: applied for jobs i had to feel

a lot of questions about why this job

[Aliza Shatzman]: had ended early why the judge wasn’t

list as a reference

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: finally secured

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: my dream job in the dcusatorney’s office

as a prosecutor and moved back to d

[Aliza Shatzman]: c in the summer of twenty twenty

one i was two weeks into training i

[Aliza Shatzman]: had already started working there when i

received some more really devastating news that altered

[Aliza Shatzman]: the course of my life i was

told the judge had made negative statements about

[Aliza Shatzman]: me during my background investigation that i

wouldn’t be able to obtain a security clarence

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: then my job offer was being revoked

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: then a couple of days later

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: i had a job offer or an

interview offer for a different job with that

[Aliza Shatzman]: office they revoked that too based on

the judge’s same negative reference i was two

[Aliza Shatzman]: years into my legal career and this

judge just seemed to have enormous power to

[Aliza Shatzman]: ruin my reputation and destroy my career

so i filed a formal judicial complaint hired

[Aliza Shatzman]: attorneys and in the summer and fall

of twenty twenty one participated into the investigation

[Aliza Shatzman]: into the now former judge we were

part way through that when some attorneys reached

[Aliza Shatzman]: out to me privately and told me

the judge was on administrative leave pending an

[Aliza Shatzman]: investigation into other misconduct at the time

he filed the negative reference about me the

[Aliza Shatzman]: u s o the government employer wasn’t

alerted of that until several months later when

[Aliza Shatzman]: pursuing to our private settlement agreement so

separate from anything that judiciary could or would

[Aliza Shatzman]: do for me the former judge issued

a clarifying statement addressing some but not all

[Aliza Shatzman]: of his outrageous claims about me by

then the damage had been done it had

[Aliza Shatzman]: been way too long and i am

pretty much black ball from what i thought

[Aliza Shatzman]: was my dream job and during the

summer i became aware of proposed legislation called

[Aliza Shatzman]: the sary accountability act or j that

would extend title seven protections to judiciary employees

[Aliza Shatzman]: including law clerks currently folks like me

are exempt from title seven mean we can’t

[Aliza Shatzman]: see our harasses and seek dam jes

for harm is done to our lives stayed

[Aliza Shatzman]: in touch with house and senate offices

involved with drafting that bill and when a

[Aliza Shatzman]: hearing happened in the house judiciary committee

in march of twenty twenty two i said

[Aliza Shatzman]: i had written testimony sharing my story

advocating for that legislation and then the weeks

[Aliza Shatzman]: following it i began to toss around

some ideas for future further advocacy work with

[Aliza Shatzman]: my friend washy classmate now co founder

matt goodman and we launched our non profit

[Aliza Shatzman]: in june to address is gaps that

i see in the clerkship application process and

[Aliza Shatzman]: in these really unregulated workplaces

[Nick McGowan]: well

[Aliza Shatzman]: m

[Nick McGowan]: that sounds like a mess it sounds

like chaos from

[Aliza Shatzman]: ah

[Nick McGowan]: the start but

[Aliza Shatzman]: yep

[Nick McGowan]: it’s also interesting that you bring up

that your partners mat maybe this is a

[Nick McGowan]: giant assumption but i assume that’s a


[Aliza Shatzman]: yes he is that’s a good assumption

[Nick McGowan]: so well i thought it was safe

[Aliza Shatzman]: oh

[Nick McGowan]: you never know i mean it is

twenty twenty

[Aliza Shatzman]: h

[Nick McGowan]: two so matt going through i assume

a clerkship as well did he not deal

[Nick McGowan]: with any of the b s that

you dealt with like at all

[Aliza Shatzman]: so mat did not clerk but his


[Nick McGowan]: okay

[Aliza Shatzman]: position was in judicial education so training

judges on d and other issues so that’s

[Aliza Shatzman]: kind of how he comes to this

work but

[Nick McGowan]: got it

[Aliza Shatzman]: you know he’s been there with me

from the start since i filed my judicial

[Aliza Shatzman]: complaint he was immensely supportive and

[Nick McGowan]: it’s

[Aliza Shatzman]: i thought

[Nick McGowan]: cool

[Aliza Shatzman]: he was a good person to kind

of launch this venture with

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: we have complimentary skill sets

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: he does a lot more of the

text stuff some of the business stuff

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: and yeah he’s i am advocating based

on my personal experience which i think is

[Aliza Shatzman]: important but also creates unique challenges he

is not so he can be more level

[Aliza Shatzman]: headed when i’m

[Nick McGowan]: uh

[Aliza Shatzman]: like oh my god can you

[Nick McGowan]: uh

[Aliza Shatzman]: this clerk

[Nick McGowan]: it’s like

[Aliza Shatzman]: director

[Nick McGowan]: calm down

[Aliza Shatzman]: told me our policy is we don’t

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: warn students and i’m so upset and

he’s like yeah

[Nick McGowan]: m m

[Aliza Shatzman]: chill out we’ll

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: deal with it so but

[Nick McGowan]: that’s good

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah he has a great attitude like

well kind of mis and deliver so if

[Aliza Shatzman]: a lost school need something we’ll say

we can do it and ten we’ll do

[Aliza Shatzman]: it and he kind of always encourages

me to go forward and assert myself and

[Aliza Shatzman]: just kind of power through which i

appreciate some

[Nick McGowan]: that’s cool it sounds like you got

a good a good partnership there i think

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: the biggest thing that stands out to


[Aliza Shatzman]: m

[Nick McGowan]: and law aside or industry aside it

just henshitty people

[Aliza Shatzman]: oh

[Nick McGowan]: do chitty things really when somebody is

not treating you the same way not could

[Nick McGowan]: understand like if you did come in

and you started yelling at somebody

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: and saying things they’d be like yeah

she’s bossy she’s yelling at us

[Aliza Shatzman]: m uh

[Nick McGowan]: but that would be similar if some

dude came in and started yelling at things

[Nick McGowan]: however i think you’re right i know

you’re right that when you say they would

[Nick McGowan]: look primarily at men and say well

he’s just a bit aggressive because i’ve been

[Nick McGowan]: in that spot i’ve been in sales

for i don’t know since i was a

[Nick McGowan]: toddler basically and i know there have

been people that have told me you’re kind

[Nick McGowan]: of aggressive but they’ve never told me

they’ve never actually dismissed me like it sounds

[Nick McGowan]: like you were kind of dismissed for

being potentially just excited about things or what

[Nick McGowan]: some people would consider it passionate about

what they’re doing

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah definitely

[Nick McGowan]: there was a question that kept coming

up in my mind was what the hell

[Nick McGowan]: happened to him as a child

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: did anybody

[Aliza Shatzman]: uh

[Nick McGowan]: come out of the light

[Aliza Shatzman]: uh

[Nick McGowan]: and

[Aliza Shatzman]: m

[Nick McGowan]: say hey he was touched as a

kid or something happened because something is clearly

[Nick McGowan]: wrong there now you said that he’s

a former

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: judge

[Aliza Shatzman]: yes

[Nick McGowan]: so

[Aliza Shatzman]: so

[Nick McGowan]: you say whatever you can legally say

on the show go for it

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah so my settlement just means i

can’t identify him by name and i don’t

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: easy enough

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah so d c courts judges are

sent at confirmed their article one judges but

[Aliza Shatzman]: they don’t have life tenure so they

can be removed so he was involuntarily retired

[Aliza Shatzman]: from the bench he i had a

history of misconduct he mistreated other clerks other

[Aliza Shatzman]: court employees um and it’s interesting i

mean i think it’s a larger criticism maybe

[Aliza Shatzman]: we should be appointing that we maybe

chief executive should be appointing better judges because

[Aliza Shatzman]: when i to the extent i’ve talked

to some of his former colleagues yeah he

[Aliza Shatzman]: was a bad guy you know when

he was a law firm associate too and

[Aliza Shatzman]: i think that kind of happens i

don’t understand how some of these appointees just

[Aliza Shatzman]: get like power pushed through the process

i mean we should

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: be appointing better judges and we should

scrutinizing them and we should be thinking about

[Aliza Shatzman]: judges as like employers running a small

workplace they’re not

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: gods they don’t deserve to be

[Nick McGowan]: yah

[Aliza Shatzman]: deified they don’t deserve absolute respect and

total deference and i hate a legal community

[Aliza Shatzman]: continues to like confer this power upon


[Nick McGowan]: uh uh i mean that’s that’s huge

to say they’re not god’s because you’re right

[Nick McGowan]: nobody

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: nobody’s really a god anyway when it

comes to this sort of stuff and even

[Aliza Shatzman]: ah

[Nick McGowan]: if even if there were gods you

would think that actual gods being here they

[Nick McGowan]: probably

[Aliza Shatzman]: m

[Nick McGowan]: wouldn’t be that mean as it sounds

like some people are and i really again

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: i don’t think it’s as much an

industry specific thing as it sounds like we’re

[Nick McGowan]: kind of starting to break some of

the mold of that because if you think

[Nick McGowan]: of a small business co that’s just

kind of a douche bag that guy could

[Nick McGowan]: be a co of fortune five company

still be a douche bag but that’s just

[Nick McGowan]: going to trickle down to a lot

more people and make things a lot worse

[Nick McGowan]: so it’s the people problem so how

do we fix that problem and how do

[Nick McGowan]: you suggest with what you’re doing will

actually fix that or is this kind of

[Nick McGowan]: a bandage in a sense to be

able to help people bridge from somebody

[Aliza Shatzman]: m

[Nick McGowan]: being a dish to somebody being you

know nicer potentially

[Aliza Shatzman]: well i would distinguish judges from other

employers and other industries because they have life

[Aliza Shatzman]: tenure so not

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: sake our judges but federal article three

judges have life tenure that can only be

[Aliza Shatzman]: removed by congression impeachment which basically never

happens and so they really are able to

[Aliza Shatzman]: evade scrutiny and avoid accountability so i


[Nick McGowan]: that’s

[Aliza Shatzman]: say

[Nick McGowan]: where the

[Aliza Shatzman]: that

[Nick McGowan]: godsindrum comes in

[Aliza Shatzman]: definitely and the longer

[Nick McGowan]: got it

[Aliza Shatzman]: these folks are on the bench i

think the more the god complex kind of

[Aliza Shatzman]: evolves which i

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: think is troubling and speaks to the

fact that maybe these folks should not have

[Aliza Shatzman]: life tenure but yeah

[Nick McGowan]: yeah why do they have life tenure

from somebody outside of it i’m not in

[Nick McGowan]: law at all so why do they

automatically give them life tenure

[Aliza Shatzman]: that’s how the courts were structured when

article three created these judges they conferred upon

[Aliza Shatzman]: them life tenure or tenure during good

behavior which is a de facto life tenure

[Aliza Shatzman]: the problem

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: is even state

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: court judges have ten

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: or fifteen year terms they run unopposed

or they are just rubber stamped for reappointment

[Aliza Shatzman]: so when i speak to state court


[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: and even once we’re doing the right

thing i mean they perceive themselves to have

[Aliza Shatzman]: de facto tenure so it’s really a

problem with deifying judges in the legal community

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: and then in terms of what we’re


[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: about it my non profit is working

on several initiatives that are really going to

[Aliza Shatzman]: transform the clerkship landscape and really just

insure that law students considering a clerkship have

[Aliza Shatzman]: the info they need to avoid misbehaving

judges so we hope that eventually fewer folks

[Aliza Shatzman]: will apply to clerks for these notorious

harasses and that that will also lead to

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: some larger changes if you are

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: judge and you’re no longer getting a

good crop of clerks well maybe you’ll change

[Aliza Shatzman]: your behavior and if you

[Nick McGowan]: ah

[Aliza Shatzman]: can’t i mean it’s a way to

shine some sunlight on folks who need to

[Aliza Shatzman]: be disciplined so

[Nick McGowan]: that’s funny

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: so do you think they could be

like all right here’s a couple of clerks

[Nick McGowan]: these people kind of seem like jerks

let’s give them to the other let’s give

[Nick McGowan]: him to the jerks so there’s like


[Aliza Shatzman]: ah

[Nick McGowan]: big bunch of them i don’t i


[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: know if the judges will be like

wait these people really mean they’re worse than

[Nick McGowan]: i am maybe i should change my

ways hold up here

[Aliza Shatzman]: i mean i suggested once so we

do i do a lot of events for

[Aliza Shatzman]: the legal accountability project so i’m at

law school and my words got twisted when

[Aliza Shatzman]: i suggested this in an event a

couple of months ago but i suggested

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: for judges who are mis treating their


[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: one form of discipline could be to

take away their clerks

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: they can clerks can be reassigned

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: so take away all their

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: clerks and they have to do all

the work all the research and the writing

[Aliza Shatzman]: we can’t remove these folks but we

could punish them in that way and some

[Aliza Shatzman]: like i mean clerkship director who is

kind of not acting in good faith suggested

[Aliza Shatzman]: that i wanted to abolish clerkships which


[Nick McGowan]: get out

[Aliza Shatzman]: true

[Nick McGowan]: of here come on

[Aliza Shatzman]: we have a couple bad actors in

the clerkship workplace but yeah i mean we

[Aliza Shatzman]: should be thinking of creative ways to

discipline these judges in the absence of changing

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: the life tenure site she

[Nick McGowan]: that’s interesting it’s like how do you

screw with a demi god at that point

[Nick McGowan]: if somebody’s trying to play god like

all right we’ll take away all the toys

[Nick McGowan]: so you can’t use people now you

got to do everything on your own

[Aliza Shatzman]: i mean the other issue is that

law clerks who face mistreatment and this issue

[Aliza Shatzman]: is pervasive and unaddressed

[Nick McGowan]: okay

[Aliza Shatzman]: in both the state and federal courts

but law clerks are quite fearful of reputational

[Aliza Shatzman]: harm in the legal community

[Nick McGowan]: sure

[Aliza Shatzman]: which is you know an employer punishing

you for speaking out against your harasser or

[Aliza Shatzman]: judges retaliating against these former clerks and

there really are no protections against that so

[Aliza Shatzman]: law clerks are not speaking out even

in the face of outrageous mistreatment enabling these

[Aliza Shatzman]: judges to continue to get away with

it and they know nobody is going to

[Aliza Shatzman]: speak out against them

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: and i think that’s one reason why

things are so

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: tough my former supervisor i mean somebody

was speaking out

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: and unfortunately

[Nick McGowan]: what do i do

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah unfortunately people should have spoken out

sooner but

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: i just really want to like as

i am sharing my experience public and so

[Aliza Shatzman]: frequently it’s about empowering law students to

demand safer work places but also inspiring current

[Aliza Shatzman]: former clerks to speak out against their

harasses and it’s really

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: by shining sun light on these radically

under address and secret issues that were going

[Aliza Shatzman]: to change the culture and that’s a

bigger that’s a bigger challenge going

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: from one of deifying judges and disbelieving

law clerks to

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: one where everybody brings their full selves

to work and no judge thinks that he’s

[Aliza Shatzman]: going to get out away with outrageous


[Nick McGowan]: what a novel idea everybody just don’t

be a jerk but we start at that

[Nick McGowan]: level

[Aliza Shatzman]: but it’s really

[Nick McGowan]: have

[Aliza Shatzman]: about

[Nick McGowan]: you seen

[Aliza Shatzman]: i mean

[Nick McGowan]: people

[Aliza Shatzman]: changing the culture though like they

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: people get away with harassing behavior because

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: nobody questions them and people are fearful


[Nick McGowan]: yeah well have you seen more and

more people come out of the wood work

[Nick McGowan]: even pull you to the side like

little side bar like hey i’m glad you’re

[Nick McGowan]: doing this because whatever their story is

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah so i receive outreach like social

media email stuff like that every day from

[Aliza Shatzman]: current former clerks thanking me

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: confiding in me sharing their stories for

the first

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: time which is very edifying and i

receive disproportion ate outreach from the law schools

[Aliza Shatzman]: that are our toughest administrations where they

say things like you know we’re blessed to

[Aliza Shatzman]: work with only good judges in this

circuit all our students positive clerkship experience so

[Aliza Shatzman]: i receive disproportion out reach from

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: those law school lums the issue is

most of them say they will never speak

[Aliza Shatzman]: publicly which is always hard to hear

and my co founder likes to call me

[Aliza Shatzman]: like a hat old so i take

the heat for people who can’t and that’s

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: fine but i really

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: do think more folk should be empowered

to speak out i mean it’s been healing

[Aliza Shatzman]: and empowering for me every time share

my experience

[Nick McGowan]: but ah

[Aliza Shatzman]: and

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: what i really try to tell people

who are fearful is that there is no

[Aliza Shatzman]: guarantee that if you stay silent the

judge who mistreated you will stop mistreating you

[Aliza Shatzman]: like there is nothing to destroy someone

in a position of power or there’s nothing

[Aliza Shatzman]: to stop them from continuing to treat


[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: destroy your career

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: and like there was a lot of

dialogue there is a lot of dialogue each

[Aliza Shatzman]: clerkship application cycle and social media twitter

and stuff like that about clerkships and during

[Aliza Shatzman]: this several months period when i was

going through the judicial investigation and when i

[Aliza Shatzman]: hadn’t yet spoken

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: publicly i found the conversation enormously frustrating

because it was so uniformly positive and i

[Aliza Shatzman]: was just waiting to share my story

like eight

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: months ago if i were some random

talking about clerkships nobody would care like what

[Aliza Shatzman]: is you know now they

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: know that i’m like a trusted sore

so i

[Nick McGowan]: ah

[Aliza Shatzman]: can comment but i cannot imagine facing

mistreatment on deciding to stay silent for the

[Aliza Shatzman]: rest of your career how

[Nick McGowan]: ah

[Aliza Shatzman]: enormously painful and isolating that is because

people tell me or people who kind of

[Aliza Shatzman]: speak out and say the right fassional


[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: would have been not to report those

folks i know are kind of no conveying

[Aliza Shatzman]: their personal pain in their decision not

to speak publicly so

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: i would encourage everybody

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: that it’s empowering to share your experience

and it will help somebody else

[Nick McGowan]: oh big time i

[Aliza Shatzman]: ah

[Nick McGowan]: love that you brought that up as

the last bit of that it’ll help somebody

[Nick McGowan]: else i think no matter what

[Aliza Shatzman]: ah

[Nick McGowan]: the story is even with the podcast

i mean this has been therapeutic but it

[Nick McGowan]: also helps a lot of people and

as you talk

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: more and more and more about it

it also helps you to better understand how

[Nick McGowan]: people work how things work et cetera

just like with you talking the situation that

[Nick McGowan]: you have will open the door to

somebody else i’m sure there are times where

[Nick McGowan]: somebody says something we’re like huh i’ve

been doing this a little while i’ve seen

[Nick McGowan]: a lot of things talked to a

lot of people but that’s new or that’s

[Nick McGowan]: something that’s a bit diffr and so

how would you encourage somebody that is maybe

[Nick McGowan]: in law or in some nine to

five job or their career and they have

[Nick McGowan]: somebody in leadership that’s honestly a pain

in the ass them and kind of makes

[Nick McGowan]: their life kind of hell at times

how would you

[Aliza Shatzman]: m

[Nick McGowan]: how would you encourage them to be

able to work through that situation

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah i mean the hard

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: thing is it’s really about documenting everything


[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: notes confiding in people and keeping track

of who you confided in and that’s not

[Aliza Shatzman]: anybody’s first ide when somebody is mistreating

you and your boss is harassing you your

[Aliza Shatzman]: first thought is not i should take

notes and keep

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: track but

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: like it really

[Nick McGowan]: document

[Aliza Shatzman]: is the

[Nick McGowan]: at law

[Aliza Shatzman]: most yeah it really is so important

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: as i think about going through the

judicial investigation and the notes di kept in

[Aliza Shatzman]: the documentation i had like now i


[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: copious notes after every conversation i mean

like most conversations and that is why because

[Aliza Shatzman]: i know how important it is people

to have a record and i was at

[Aliza Shatzman]: law school events a couple of weeks

ago where we were calling out a clerkships

[Aliza Shatzman]: director who was stone walling us and

i check my notes like pulled out my

[Aliza Shatzman]: notes and started reading from her email

and like you know

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: because we documented um

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: so yeah it’s about keeping track of

what’s going on and i would also courage

[Aliza Shatzman]: people to reach out to h r

the equivalent viola complaint

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: i mean

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: there is no reason to continue to

endure mistreatment and

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: it’s hard because a workplace h r

is set up to protect the employer or

[Aliza Shatzman]: not the employes and really are court

laws right now i mean if you’re thinking

[Aliza Shatzman]: about suing someone those are also set

up to protect abusers and they shouldn’t be

[Aliza Shatzman]: so it’s difficult but nobody should continue

to undergo mistreatment and

[Nick McGowan]: m m

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: what would you suggest that they actually

have that conversation because you’re right i mean

[Nick McGowan]: if somebody’s being mean or mistreating you

in any way you don’t automatically think who

[Nick McGowan]: if i talked to about this thing

and you

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: know kind of walk throg all of

that but did did you have a conversation

[Nick McGowan]: or did you try to have a

conversation and it just didn’t work like when

[Nick McGowan]: would you suggest that somebody actually take

that next step um first being actually have

[Nick McGowan]: a conversation with the person and go

hey what’s up why are you hating on

[Nick McGowan]: me

[Aliza Shatzman]: gosh i’m trying to think did i

ever say why are you treating me i

[Aliza Shatzman]: don’t think so i mean he would

call me into his chambers and just start

[Aliza Shatzman]: braiding me and the thing about these

clerkships and the enormous power disparity between wall

[Aliza Shatzman]: clerk and judge is

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: clerks know that these folks have enormous

[Nick McGowan]: ah

[Aliza Shatzman]: power over our careers and reputations and

that having a conversation is probably not going

[Aliza Shatzman]: to change bad behavior i think

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: it’s little different in clerkships

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: than in some other jobs like if

you work at a law firm or you

[Aliza Shatzman]: work in some other industry there are

other places you can go you can go

[Aliza Shatzman]: to a co worker you can go

to another supervisor the with these clerkships and

[Aliza Shatzman]: why it’s

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: a workplace that’s so conducive to harassment

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: because it’s so isolated it is a

couple low clerks and a judge working

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: long hours behind locked doors in stressful

circumstances and there’s no place for a lock

[Aliza Shatzman]: clerk to go because every judge can

there’s their workplace to be their little fhieftem

[Aliza Shatzman]: and if you talk to judges about

like calling out their colleagues they’ll say it’s

[Aliza Shatzman]: not my chambers it’s not my business

so if you are in a position of

[Aliza Shatzman]: power it’s

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: about having those tough conversations when you

see a colleague acting badly but i mean

[Aliza Shatzman]: definitely if you’re in a workplace facing

mystery events it’s about addressing it sooner rather

[Aliza Shatzman]: than later i know it’s enormously scary

and difficult but the longer you let those

[Aliza Shatzman]: issues fester the worse they’re going to

be and if you haven’t kept notes and

[Aliza Shatzman]: you haven’t kept track it’s going to

be even more challenging um but i definitely

[Aliza Shatzman]: see as the future of minon profit

one initiative we want to create a employment

[Aliza Shatzman]: attorney data base to connect law clerks

with attorneys who can help because like to

[Aliza Shatzman]: take the enormous steps that i did

filing a complaint participating in the investigation you

[Aliza Shatzman]: need to have an attorney and that

it is hard especially if you’ve just been

[Aliza Shatzman]: fired like where you goin to get

the money for that

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: and in the judicial context and in

the legal community attorneys are notoriously unwilling to

[Aliza Shatzman]: take on law cases because they fear

retaliation or reputational harm by judges it’s also

[Aliza Shatzman]: about encouraging attorneys to take on these

tough cases and i’m enormously

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: grateful for everything my attorneys did for

me so yeah there’s

[Nick McGowan]: bet

[Aliza Shatzman]: a lot

[Nick McGowan]: and

[Aliza Shatzman]: of issues that need to be addressed

in the legal community

[Nick McGowan]: i’m learning yeah yeah as you kind

of open it up more and more it’s

[Nick McGowan]: interesting how it’s kind of like a

[Aliza Shatzman]: oh

[Nick McGowan]: festering problem that’s within its own niche

that has its own littl bubbles i could

[Nick McGowan]: i’ve never been in those circles but

i could imagine hearing somebody go hey that’s

[Nick McGowan]: not my chambers they do like how

they run their business is how they run

[Nick McGowan]: their business but at the core we’re

all human so if you know that somebody

[Nick McGowan]: is being mistreating another human there should

be some problem with that at a human

[Nick McGowan]: level but then again if they’ve played

that same game for years years decades or

[Nick McGowan]: even centuries i mean how far back

does it go you mentioned

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: earlier when i asked about how do

they get life tenure well it was written

[Nick McGowan]: that way makes sense if a god

[Aliza Shatzman]: m

[Nick McGowan]: or a demi god is basically going

to write something up might as well serve

[Nick McGowan]: them so i think

[Aliza Shatzman]: yes

[Nick McGowan]: it’s a whole different cannaworms we can

get into on the whole government realm and

[Nick McGowan]: all of that sort of stuff

[Aliza Shatzman]: and i mean change is going to

be especially slow in the judiciary because these

[Aliza Shatzman]: are the folks interpreting the laws which


[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: it enormously difficult and right now the

only workplace protections are judiciary internals self policing

[Aliza Shatzman]: and honestly when judges are tasked with

investigating and potentially disciplining their colleagues internal self

[Aliza Shatzman]: discipline leads to a lack of discipline

because judges are just notoriously unwilling you discipline

[Aliza Shatzman]: their colleagues and so it’s a couple

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: issues its issues in the judiciary and

lack of workplace protections it’s the exemption from

[Aliza Shatzman]: title seven it’s the fact these judges

are never disciplined and judges are just defending

[Aliza Shatzman]: their colleagues judiciary leadership is saying harass

and retaliation are just not big problems it’s

[Aliza Shatzman]: the legal community continuing to deify these

judges and it’s also law schools and this

[Aliza Shatzman]: is the reason my non profit is

working on initiatives with law schools they are

[Aliza Shatzman]: part of the problem funneling

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: students into clerkships they know or suspect

or bad in order to fluff up their

[Aliza Shatzman]: number of law clerks and i think

they should be the first to step forward

[Aliza Shatzman]: and make changes they are the ideal

victors for change

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: i mean clerkship directors are focused on

the number of placement’s period good bad debt

[Aliza Shatzman]: stating career ending

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: and they really some of them just

don’t care i’ve had deans and clerkship directors

[Aliza Shatzman]: including the deans of my law school

wash you tell me that our official policy

[Aliza Shatzman]: is not to warn students about judges

who we know harass their clerks that is

[Nick McGowan]: official

[Aliza Shatzman]: outrageous

[Nick McGowan]: policy did not warn people

[Aliza Shatzman]: and yes

[Nick McGowan]: crazy

[Aliza Shatzman]: it’s outrageous and despicable yes um and

look when

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: i talk to people who are at

like harvard yale when allegations came out against

[Aliza Shatzman]: former judge kazinski and the late judge

stephen rinehart what bubbled up is that all

[Aliza Shatzman]: the faculty knew that these were notorious

harassersbut also did not disclose this information to

[Aliza Shatzman]: students who continue to pursue ninth circuit

fancy clerkships with notorious harassers the people who

[Aliza Shatzman]: most need the info are these impressionable

students taking the first important steps in their

[Aliza Shatzman]: legal career and the idea that it

is professors and administrators at these law schools

[Aliza Shatzman]: concealing information it’s just respectable it’s really

despicable my

[Nick McGowan]: man that is a lot i think

there’s there’s a lot it sounds like you’re

[Nick McGowan]: doing with

[Aliza Shatzman]: oh eh

[Nick McGowan]: with your organization but one thing we

haven’t touched on is major piece that has

[Nick McGowan]: to deal with you and your mind

set how did you deal with that not

[Nick McGowan]: thinking about where you’re at now but

looking back to where you were kind of

[Nick McGowan]: looking at that movie as you were


[Aliza Shatzman]: hm

[Nick McGowan]: with this as you work kind of

going through it and

[Aliza Shatzman]: oh

[Nick McGowan]: then starting down the path of maybe

i need to actually do something about this

[Nick McGowan]: because the guy is not letting up

[Aliza Shatzman]: m

[Nick McGowan]: how did you manage

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: those days without either freak ing out

or just saying screw it i’m done how

[Nick McGowan]: did you manage that

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah so my story also has several

iterations so there was the first part when

[Aliza Shatzman]: i was fired from this clerkship during

the pandemic staying with my parents and then

[Aliza Shatzman]: i was just trying to find a

new job i had written up

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Aliza Shatzman]: a judicial complaint i had connected with

some judges i intended to file it with

[Aliza Shatzman]: the local judicial conduct commission but i

wanted to wait to file it till i

[Aliza Shatzman]: had a new job because i feared

the judge would retaliate against me

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: and so then it was about just

trying to find a new job and the

[Aliza Shatzman]: pandemic was hard on my family i

was just a terrible time so i needed

[Aliza Shatzman]: to find a job so then there

was the iteration where i moved back to

[Aliza Shatzman]: d c and there’s this outrageous negative

reference um and i was fortunate to find

[Aliza Shatzman]: attorneys pretty quickly i filed my complaint

pretty quickly and got that moving and look

[Aliza Shatzman]: the judicial misconduct investigation was just an

enormously painful process and it took me a

[Aliza Shatzman]: while to decide what to share publicly

about that and i have written and spoken

[Aliza Shatzman]: it bit more recently about it the

investigator handling my complaint she said things to

[Aliza Shatzman]: me like you must have done something

wrong because the judge hired you in the

[Aliza Shatzman]: first place she spent like hreehours needling

me about why i couldn’t ad just to

[Aliza Shatzman]: the judge’s unique work style of harassing

me it was just

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: terrible um and then after a couple

o months that i was told my complaint

[Aliza Shatzman]: was going to be dismissed and because

it was a judicial misconduct investigation they didn’t

[Aliza Shatzman]: have to issue findings of fact i

had no appeal rights just done so it

[Aliza Shatzman]: was enormously isolating i hadn’t told my

family anything i hired attorneys on my own

[Aliza Shatzman]: i confided in a few friends a

little bit but look when people are going

[Aliza Shatzman]: through any sort of misconduct investigation let

alone any sort of like title seven or

[Aliza Shatzman]: workplace litigation it’s enormously isolating and it

was really terrible time pretty early on in

[Aliza Shatzman]: that process i decided that i wanted

to speak publicly about my experience there was

[Aliza Shatzman]: a former clerk for the late judge

ryan hard who testified house judiciary in twenty

[Aliza Shatzman]: twenty and i watched that testimony when

i was still deep in the clerkship house

[Aliza Shatzman]: came and i found that very

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: empowering and her message of you know

you’re not alone i thought that was amazing

[Aliza Shatzman]: so i wat our testimony a bunch

of times and then i started working on

[Aliza Shatzman]: a law journal article with the u

c journal of gender and law which i

[Aliza Shatzman]: thought was going to be my first

public statement and the intro and conclusion of

[Aliza Shatzman]: my personal story and then the body

of it is advocating for the judiciary accountability

[Aliza Shatzman]: act and an amendment to cover the

d c courts and other article one courts

[Aliza Shatzman]: so this house judiciary hearing

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: happened in march and gave me an

opportunity to

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: speak sooner but like i wrote this

really lengthy i mean it started is fifty

[Aliza Shatzman]: pages and end up being a hundred

pages law journal article

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: like over labor day weekend and like


[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: days not sleeping writing the first draft

so i was just powering through it that

[Aliza Shatzman]: was healing and then you know doing

advocacy work and writing and those things were

[Aliza Shatzman]: healing as well

[Nick McGowan]: okay

[Aliza Shatzman]: which is why i am such an

advocate for people sharing their stories it’s been

[Aliza Shatzman]: empowering and healing for me and it’s

gratifying that people thank me and tell me

[Aliza Shatzman]: that it helps them to i want

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Aliza Shatzman]: other people to know that they are

not alone and the d c commission on

[Aliza Shatzman]: judicial disabilities and tenure that’s the regular

to body for local judges i think they

[Aliza Shatzman]: thought that dismissing my complaint would silence

me and i’m confident that the former judge

[Aliza Shatzman]: and his the team thought that too

and that hasn’t silenced me in any way

[Aliza Shatzman]: it definitely made me feel shame and

pain in the early days wondering what people

[Aliza Shatzman]: would think when they knew that my

complaint had been dismissed but the vast majority

[Aliza Shatzman]: complaints by law clerks are and that

says nothing about the complainant and everything about

[Aliza Shatzman]: the system that’s set up to protect

these misbehaving judges

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: but i know that as i’m sharing

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: my story publicly i hope it’s one

of empowerment but i’m also talking about all

[Aliza Shatzman]: these terrible things that happened to me

and our law clerks and other folks going

[Aliza Shatzman]: to think it’s not worth coming forward

i hope that’s not the message my message

[Aliza Shatzman]: is you should absolutely come forward because

we’re not going to

[Nick McGowan]: hm

[Aliza Shatzman]: change the culture until there’s just a

ground swell of folk sharing their stories

[Nick McGowan]: that’s interesting it sounds like you kind

of got on to the mission almost pretty

[Nick McGowan]: quickly where you saw that there was

an opportunity to jump on the mission and

[Nick McGowan]: i get that it’s helping you process

as you go almost like i think of

[Nick McGowan]: like a closet where you’re like i’m

goin a clean out this closet that hasn’t

[Nick McGowan]: been cleaned out fifteen years you got

to take everything out and process

[Aliza Shatzman]: m

[Nick McGowan]: through it and then figure out what’s

trash or what you’re keeping but you’re still

[Nick McGowan]: on the mission to be able to

do that thing so outside of the mission

[Nick McGowan]: and doing the work on the mission

how are you actually taking care of your

[Nick McGowan]: mindset and you as a person daily

like what does that look like for you

[Nick McGowan]: do you met at your journal you

just wake up and you just

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: eat a bowl of let’s get after

it and

[Aliza Shatzman]: oh

[Nick McGowan]: just go straight into it

[Aliza Shatzman]: pretty much i go to sleep and

wake up thinking about judges

[Nick McGowan]: okay

[Aliza Shatzman]: and clerkships and i mean honestly when


[Nick McGowan]: so

[Aliza Shatzman]: was

[Nick McGowan]: there’s

[Aliza Shatzman]: a law

[Nick McGowan]: zero

[Aliza Shatzman]: student

[Nick McGowan]: balance m

[Aliza Shatzman]: no not at all like when i

was a law

[Nick McGowan]: a

[Aliza Shatzman]: clerk and a law student and going

through all this i never thought i’d spend

[Aliza Shatzman]: all my time like thinking about clerkships

and judges and yeah that’s what i’m doing

[Aliza Shatzman]: i mean i work out every day

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: though i’m usually the elyptical responding

[Nick McGowan]: yeah

[Aliza Shatzman]: to emails or doing

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: things related to the non profit but

i mean i have a good support system

[Aliza Shatzman]: now and it’s really been strengthened honestly

by my speaking publicly and becoming somewhat of

[Aliza Shatzman]: a public figure on these issues i

now have a much

[Nick McGowan]: m

[Aliza Shatzman]: better support system than i was actually

going through the judicial complaint process and i

[Aliza Shatzman]: appreciate that and i hope the people

who are empowered and galvanized by my story

[Aliza Shatzman]: will reach behind them and help the

next person as well

[Nick McGowan]: yeah and keep it going that’s great

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah

[Nick McGowan]: hey what’s that one piece of advice

you’d give to our audience that’s on their

[Nick McGowan]: path towards self mastery

[Aliza Shatzman]: yeah oh gosh that’s a good question

find something that inspires you to get up

[Aliza Shatzman]: in the morning and you know focus

your work and your life on issues that

[Aliza Shatzman]: galvanize you i mean i have really

combined my work and my personal mission my

[Aliza Shatzman]: personal story and i think that’s important

that if you are working on issues that

[Aliza Shatzman]: inspire you if you were doing something

every day that galvanizes you to keep going

[Aliza Shatzman]: i mean that’s how you’re goin to

find meaning in your life certainly how i

[Aliza Shatzman]: found meaning in my own life

[Nick McGowan]: that’s great that’s awesome and it’s been

such a pleasure having you on i appreciate

[Nick McGowan]: being able to get into these deep

topics and i appreciate that there’s somebody like

[Nick McGowan]: yourself at saying well if nobody else

is going to step up to do it

[Nick McGowan]: i’m tired of this b s and


[Aliza Shatzman]: my

[Nick McGowan]: go do it so that’s beautiful where

can people find you and connect with you

[Aliza Shatzman]: um they can find me on linked

in using my name eliza shots man or

[Aliza Shatzman]: adeliza shots man on twitter they can

[Nick McGowan]: oh

[Aliza Shatzman]: look at our non profits website that’s legal accountability project dot or and they can

[Aliza Shatzman]: email me there reach out i’m always happy to chat with people about these issues

[Nick McGowan]: awesome and again thanks again for being on the show we appreciate your time

[Aliza Shatzman]: thanks for having me

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